PURPOSE: The benefits of pulmonary rehabilitation have been well-studied and documented in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the benefits of pulmonary rehabilitation in patients with the diagnosis of interstitial lung disease.
METHODS: A retrospective chart analysis was done at a pulmonary rehabilitation institution. The charts of 15 patients with a diagnosis of interstitial lung disease were reviewed between the years of 2003-2006. The diagnosis of ILD was confirmed on the basis of lung biopsies or CT scan findings. Patients with documented moderate irreversible airflow obstruction were excluded. The benefits of rehabilatation were quantified by measuring the average distance walked and average Borg scores of patients at the beginning and at the end of a 12-week session. Each patient went to rehabilatation at least once a week and underwent a 6-minute walk test at the beginning and at the end of a 12-week session.
RESULTS: Of the 15 patients reviewed, all were between the ages of 50 and 70 and 3 were excluded due to failure to complete the full 12 weeks. At the beginning of the 12-week session, the average distance walked was 480.85 feet with a 6.3 average Borg score. After the 12-week session of rehabilatation, the average distance walked was 725.5 feet with a 2.3 average Borg score. This showed an average increase in 6-minute walk distance of about 244.65 feet and an average decrease in Borg scores of 4.
CONCLUSION: Pulmonary rehabilitation in patients with interstitial lung disease can lead to increased 6-minute walk test distance and decreased overall Borg scores.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: This study suggests that pulmonary rehabilitation can be beneficial in patients with interstitial lung disease.
DISCLOSURE: Richard Lovy, No Financial Disclosure Information; No Product/Research Disclosure Information